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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: May 18, 2011 3:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

deadhead53 posed an excellent question below. One which I have been pondering myself recently.

Do the performances of the Europe tour represent the best music of 1972? Or are the shows from the second half of the year better?

Personally, I much prefer the Europe shows. Although I'm a bit reluctant to say that the European performances are superior, I do believe that the Europe '72 music has an aesthetic beauty and pleasant vibe that are unique to the tour. And while there are certainly a number of performances during the Summer/Fall of 1972 that are just as fine as the best European shows, I don't believe the Grateful Dead sustained the same level of consistent excellence during the last half of the year.

I have six Europe '72 performances in my top-ten of 1972 (perhaps more after the Boxed Set is released in September). As much as I can appreciate shows like 8/24, 8/27, 9/21, 9/27 and 10/18, I do seem to prefer 4/8, 4/14, 4/26, 5/3, 5/11 and 5/26. I'm in the Europe '72 camp.

Of course this is a matter of personal preference. I'm quite curious to hear your opinions on this. Do you prefer the gorgeous music from the European tour, or the edgy high-intensity Pig-less performances from the last half of 1972?

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Poster: skuzzlebutt Date: May 19, 2011 6:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

Maybe I'm taking the easy way out here, Cliff, but for me it's more a matter of my mood than steady preference. The E'72 shows have a smoother and more generally celebratory feel to me, and even if Pigpen wasn't his old self, he did bring a certain rollicking roadhouse intangible to the GD that they never fully replaced. But there I moments when I appreciate the more prickly, even agressive, music of some of the September/October shows (9/21 and the Waterbury and Stanley runs in particular). I just can't rate one above the other on the whole.

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Poster: hasher Date: May 19, 2011 12:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

I also agree with Skobud and my vote goes to the Fall tour. The hoffheinz houston shows in November are completely off the hook and chain. The recordings could definetly use an upgrade though, especially the 19th.


edit for link:

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1972-11-19.sbd.lai.3910.sbefail.shnf

This post was modified by hasher on 2011-05-19 19:38:43

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Poster: snori Date: May 19, 2011 8:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

I have a foot in both camps. I prefer the first sets in Europe to the later first sets because Pigpen's bluesy numbers appeal more to me than Bob's Country songs. Examples http://www.archive.org/details/gd1972-05-04.sbd.miller.77294.sbeok.flac16 which I think has a better balance of styles than http://www.archive.org/details/gd72-09-26.sbd.unknown.156.sbeok.shnf Having said that I'm in no doubt that the 2nd sets are getting better in the later months of the year.

This post was modified by snori on 2011-05-19 15:04:26

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Poster: geolectro Date: May 18, 2011 9:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

i always hear a scrappy underdog sort of sound before europe, where the fall shows sound more confident-i would almost use the word arrogant. europe stands exactly in the middle, struggling to reach deep inside, but with almost perfect execution. to my ears, they never got the underdog sound back, the struggle was for evermore less of a struggle, which is why europe was, to me, the last hurrah sorta, the earlydawning of the jazzdead era, jazz(iness) requiring a certain arrogance from anyone who plays it, in my rockandroller opinion. like if you listen to the berkeley shows you can tell that they have spent time listening to the europe tapes and are pleased with what they are hearing, whereas maybe in the past they were less than pleased with the sound. this is all just daydreaming of course....

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 18, 2011 4:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

I think I slightly prefer the Europe tour, due to Pigpen's presence. His loss really hurt the sets, as many of the best jamming tunes (and the added variety) left their repertoire. So late-'72 tilts a little heavily towards country-Dead. Europe shows also tend to have the edge in sound quality.
That said, late '72 has some compensations. Playing in the Band expands tremendously; Bird Song returns to the repertoire; He's Gone transforms from a quick ditty into an epic.
My memory may be off here, but there seems to be a happier vibe in the Europe shows than in late '72, particularly after Sept. Many of those Nov/Dec jams are rather dark & demented....not sure if it was a mood thing, a conscious stylistic choice, or just pursuing the muse where it took them, but the music did seem to get more intense as the year went on.

This post was modified by light into ashes on 2011-05-18 23:45:54

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Poster: Lou Davenport Date: May 18, 2011 4:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

I go for dark and demented, so maybe that's why I slightly prefer those jams. I agree that there's a sunnier feel to Europe Dark Stars.

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Poster: reviewr Date: May 18, 2011 7:48pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

I'm reluctant to post a response because I don't have a strong opinion either way, but it is such a great question I feel I need to chime in.
I love the sound of Europe. I think someone posted a thread recently about what makes this sound so special. They can do no wrong - so many great shows.
However, I really like the Berkeley shows (esp. 8/22), and of course there is Oregon. 11/13 may be my favorite DS ever.
I'm listening to 10/18 right now (loving it), so the scales tip towards the second half of the year right now. Tomorrow maybe the other way?

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: May 18, 2011 8:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

My preference leans heavily to the lengthier pieces so I enjoy the fall shows output due to Bird Song's return,the stretched out versions of Playin' and He's Gone and some scary,twisted versions of Dark Star and the Other One.I also feel Keith playing another 25 or so shows with the band between Europe and the fall tour served the music well.To my ear those 15 shows on the fall 72' tour showcase a unique version of the GD,when they came back in Feb.73' they were a different band,with a bunch of new material and far more jazz oriented approach,and they also seemed to have a more inspired vibe towards the song portions of the show while maintaining what would be mind blowing versions of old and new extended pieces.

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Poster: deadhead53 Date: May 18, 2011 3:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

Great post Cliff and I would agree with you, I give Europe 72 a slight, slight edge just because of Pig and because the whole run is just tight, the energy is great and they seem to be having a shitload of fun playin together in Europe. So for me Europe gets a very, very slim edge to the rest of 72 and please take into account my Pig bias!

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Poster: Dave Davis Date: May 18, 2011 4:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

There are an amazing number of great shows in the last four months of 1972. Sorry to disagree, but the Dead appear to me to keep getting better the deeper you get into 1972 and 1973.

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: May 18, 2011 11:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

Really tough choice, but i think if i had to pick i'd choose Europe. Mostly because of what everyone else said, except I think a lot of the jamming in Europe is actually MORE intense then the fall (or at least "heavier"). Something about their earlier sound carring over into these shows, some of the Dark Stars from this tour are downright scary (4/24 being a prime example). The Other One as well at times reached 1969 levels of ferociousness.

The fall could be a bit noodley and too mellow at times - of course this is just the way I hear it. Then there are jams like the 11/18/72 Playin', 11/13/72 Dark Star, or 12/31/72 Truckin' for example which are anything but mellow. At the same time, you can tell a difference in terms of the jams getting jazzier and more progressive. And I'm not knocking these shows in any way, I am especially partial to September '72, and if you throw in 8/27 and 8/24 I think this run of shows could easily be as consistent as much of Europe, so again it's really a tough call.

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Poster: wisconsindead Date: May 18, 2011 4:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

well as I stated previously, I prefer the fall. For a few reasons, first there are more morning dews of better quality in the fall (my favorite dead tune). Second I think the dark stars are better (please show me Im wrong, i'd love to find even better dark stars hehe). Playin is better and longer, I think. And all of the great other ones i know of during 72 are all fall, except for "steppin". If you guys could lead me to a killer europe other one, please do.

Now consistency wise... I cant really say. As a whole 72 is extremely consistent compared to other years. I guess i would agree that Europe was more consistently good and well played. I guess I just feel like the crazy out there moments of the fall are what really gets me, and they seem more prolific during that period (which is partly to owe to pigpen leaving).

I think we could dissect this further, you could just analyze certain songs. Or the songs with no pigpen (which brings at least that chunk on an equal plane). The subtraction of pig later in the year has its own effect and changes the game. But in conclusion, i love those amazing fall jams. (i also like bobby's sound more)

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 18, 2011 5:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

Not sure what a killer Other One is for you, but 4/26 and 5/10 are two pretty fine examples from Europe. Follow those up with 5/3, 5/16, 5/24, and 5/26....well, actually I think almost all the Other Ones from this tour are pretty amazing.
Perhaps you prefer the more morose/psycho Dark Stars from the fall (with 11/13 the best!), but 4/8 is really excellent, 4/14 and 4/24 also quite exciting, 5/11 the longest of the year, and 5/25 a great one if you're in a spacier mood. (I try to refrain from saying, "Just listen to them all!"...)

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: May 18, 2011 6:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

Well played! I had you pegged in the late '72 camp because youve covered the November and December shows so thoroughly. The Playin's from later in the year might be better, certainly longer. But the sound quality of these shows is not as consistently good as whats available for most of 1972. There are also some troubling cuts, mix issues, incomplete shows, shitty AUDs. Youve pointed out some excellent performances of Dark Star and The Other One from later in the year, so your preference for the music from Europe speaks volumes about the quality of the music from the tour...

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: May 19, 2011 7:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

E72 = "Fuck yeah!"
Fall 72 = "Oh my god!"

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Poster: Skobud Date: May 19, 2011 8:20am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

Great way to put it S&R...Some of those Fall '72 Dark Stars had me saying/thinking just that..

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Poster: Skobud Date: May 19, 2011 5:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

Absolutely Fall '72.. E72 is great and I really dig it, but fall '72 is where it is at. There are so many monster shows within a very short time frame I dont know how you can't figure fall is better. E72 is full of great shows, but I do not think the jamming is as good. Look at 11/19/72, or 11/17/72, or 12/11/72. I think the jamming in these three shows alone have no equal in E72. Maybe 4/29 or 5/11, but i dont think so. Im a huge fall '72 fan so my bias is showin'. I think fall '72 jam sequences are better, and that is my rational. The themes created in the Fall '72 jams just seem to me to be fuller, or more thouroughly explored to me.

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Poster: Reade Date: May 19, 2011 6:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

Right on. I second this view 1000%.

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: May 19, 2011 6:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

Not to send this fine thread off in a completely different direction, but there are a few shows without Donna during the fall tour. For some, less is more.

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Poster: reviewr Date: May 18, 2011 8:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

One more thing...
I do have a criticism of '72 in general: they often go on too long. You don't need to play nearly every song in your catalogue every night.
In my life I just don't have time to hear an entire '72 show (or '73) often. I hate to break a show into pieces, as I'm a firm believer that every show has it's own personality and needs to be heard as a whole.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: May 18, 2011 4:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

Hey Cliff,

I wrote a similar post about this a long time ago and got some interesting responses. As i pointed out, Dr. Flashback had more fall shows in his top 10 then spring shows. I think he missed the point i was trying to make, but you seemed to get it. I think JOTS was the one who nailed it. That interview with Bob and Phil discussing 100 Years Hall release posted here a little while back seemed to really support what he said.

http://www.archive.org/post/145098/tired-of-flaming-rhino-try-this-definitely-dead

Funny after 4 years i do find myself more enamored with the Spring tour, although when i go listen to one of those August/September shows and hear a beautiful rendition of Bird Song which was somehow missing from Europe, I remember why i wrote what i did. I think the loss of Pig really allowed Keith to settle in and the band to start their jazz excursion. Since I tend to favor that sound over all others it probably makes sense that i find some of those shows more enjoyable.

That said, while I think there are individual shows from august and september that are as good if not better than the E72 shows (you already mentioned them), i would not have shelled out money for those two months like i did for April and May for two reasons. There is no way the sound quality could match the multi-track recordings of Europe, and the consistency of playing in Europe is unsurpassed thus none of the discs will join the coaster collection.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: May 18, 2011 7:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

It's amazing how much has transpired in our world since that post, Larry. About 100 days from now it will change a little bit more in the form of some well anticipated postal deliveries. And with all respect to the good Doctor, he's only given three stars to 5/16/72 ;)

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: May 18, 2011 8:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

Wall Street, Bin Ladin, Micah6v8....yeah a lot has changed for sure ;-). No way i would give that show 3 stars as discussed the other day. However you have to admit that the Bird Song from 8-27 or 9-21 would be a welcomed addition to any show from Europe.

btw for those that think E72 was bright and sunny, my 8 year old daughter once described the Dark Star from 4-24 as "it sounds like someone is gargling." I had no argument to respond to this.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: May 18, 2011 5:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

Don't discount the effect the halls in Europe had on the music... My vote (and wallet) are in favor of Europe. My harddrive takes both.

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Poster: dark.starz Date: May 18, 2011 7:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

Exacto mundo!

The room is paramount. Europe was a dream like wind, come back step like to walk on air!.

After the gift of being booked in real Concert Halls during 1971 - 1973 era such as The Auditorium Theatre, Music Hall Boston, Fox Theatre, BCT ect...

The Dead were pushed into way too many Ice Arenas, Basketball Courts, Gymnasiums and other lousy rooms.

The one thing 99% of the folks who hangout or visit this place have in common is an appreciation of the Deads musical performance's during 1972.

The Nixon re-election thing in late fall 1972 influenced their collective mindset as well.

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Poster: brotherbuttcrack Date: Jul 5, 2011 7:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

This is such a touchy (for lack of a better word) subject.

One reason why I love Europe 72 so bad is that it offers this insane look into the road less traveled. (all my opinions, remember)

Europe 72 is arguably hands-down (probably) the most unique chapter of the bands history. It's one of those things that's "painfully good". (one reviewer put it almost perfectly: Europe 72=fuck yes..Fall 72=Oh my god)

It's so unique because up until 72, their shows had this raw, airy atmosphere to them. And after that (the post-primal era, if you will) had a much more polished feel (a clarity almost). Atmosphere, instruments and performance.

However, in Europe 72, we see a window into the future. Europe 72 is executed in near perfect studio-like fashion (almost better than the studio itself, as far as the dead go) It possessed that polished quality that 73-74 are so well known for, but Pigpen is still there! It's like a the middle part of a Ven diagram. And it's magical. It sparkles!

Here, we have a fully mature monster of a band, and there playing these monster versions of Good Lovin' with Pigpen at the helm. One Europe version of Good lovin just blew my fuckin mind. It felt like I was in 73 with Pigpen!

Although this kind of thing is more of a novelty, it's one hell of a fuckin novelty at that.

So we fast forward to the latter portion of the year where we find, arguably some of the bands best performances.

One can argue that the band was left with a gaping void in it after Pigpen left. But on the other hand, you can argue that the band just kept getting better.

At the moment I'm riding the Europe 72 wave, so naturally, I'll vote foe Europe RIGHT NOW. But when I'm deep inside fall, I'll swear that that was the best. Which I think is the only real verdict I can come to. The Musical phase has constant temporary rule over our Dead pleasure receptors.

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Poster: Lou Davenport Date: May 18, 2011 4:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

While I admire the LMA urge to explore absolutely everything about the band, I do find this particular debate a bit surreal. If there's time, shall we also discuss which was worse: their East-Coast tour in April 1984 or in October 1984?

That said, although I've frankly listened less to 1972 than to 1973, maybe I'd vote for slightly better jamming in the Fall and slightly tighter first sets in Europe? Slightly, though, on both counts.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 18, 2011 4:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

Actually a spring '84 vs. fall '84 debate would be pretty interesting... But the Brent years don't seem to inspire these kinds of hair-splitting discussions! Though I think even then, you can find some big changes in the band's playing from one season to the next...

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Poster: Lou Davenport Date: May 18, 2011 6:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1972 - Europe vs. July through December?

Hair-splitting? Carbon nanotube splitting!

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Poster: Jack o' Roses Date: May 18, 2011 6:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: 1984 - Spring or Fall?

I could hold my own with that dis/cuss (more dis'n or more cussin'?)- I lived through those dark ages! & Still think that the opening of the East coast tours are pretty good shows- Hampton's Scarlet>Fire, Terrapin, Dew, & of course, Don't Need Love! Closing out the Fall at BCT- come on you guys!